Massively parallel sequencing of forensic STRs and SNPs using the Illumina® ForenSeq™ DNA Signature Prep Kit on the MiSeq FGx™ Forensic Genomics System.Forensic Sci Int Genet. 2017 11; 31:135-148.FS
The ForenSeq™ DNA Signature Prep Kit (ForenSeq Kit) is designed to detect more than 200 forensically relevant markers in a single reaction on the MiSeq FGx™ Forensic Genomics System (MiSeq FGx System), including Amelogenin, 27 autosomal short tandem repeats (A-STRs), 7 X chromosomal STRs (X-STRs), 24 Y chromosomal STRs (Y-STRs) and 94 identity-informative single nucleotide polymorphisms (iSNPs) with the option to contain 22 phenotypic-informative SNPs (pSNPs) and 56 ancestry-informative SNPs (aSNPs). In this study, we evaluated the MiSeq FGx System on three major parts: methodological optimization (DNA extraction, sample quantification, library normalization, diluted libraries concentration, and sample-to-cell arrangement), massively parallel sequencing (MPS) performance (depth of coverage, sequence coverage ratio, and allele coverage ratio), and ForenSeq Kit characteristics (repeatability and concordance, sensitivity, mixture, stability and case-type samples). Results showed that quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-based sample quantification and library normalization and the appropriate number of pooled libraries and concentration of diluted libraries provided a greater level of MPS performance and repeatability. Repeatable and concordant genotypes were obtained by the ForenSeq Kit. Full profiles were obtained from ≥100pg input DNA for STRs and ≥200pg for SNPs. A sample with ≥5% minor contributors was considered as a mixture by imbalanced allele coverage ratio distribution, and full profiles from minor contributors were easily detected between 9:1 and 1:9 mixtures with known reference profiles. The ForenSeq Kit tolerated considerable concentrations of inhibitors like ≤200μM hematin and ≤50μg/ml humic acid, and >56% STR profiles and >88% SNP profiles were obtained from ≥200-bp degraded samples. Also, it was adapted to case-type samples. As a whole, the ForenSeq Kit is a well-performed, robust, reliable, reproducible and highly informative assay, and it can fully meet requirements for human identification. Further, sensitive QC indicator and automated sample comparison function in the ForenSeq™ Universal Analysis Software are quite helpful, so that we can concentrate on questionable genotypes and avoid tedious and time-consuming labor to maximum the time spent in data analysis.